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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 April, 2003, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
'Proof' of Roman fort found
Muncaster Castle
The road was unearthed close to Muncaster Castle
Archaeologists in west Cumbria claim they have found remains of a Roman fortress.

Recent excavations close to Muncaster Castle, near Ravenglass, have revealed what is described as a "remarkably well preserved" section of Roman road.

The section of road is several feet thick and stretches towards hilltops close to the castle.

Archaeologist Alan Bell says the discovery has proved long-held beliefs that a fort was present during Roman times.

He said: "We've had quite a dig over the winter and early spring.

"But we now feel that we have found our smoking gun.

"No-one is going to build a road four-and-a-half feet thick leading to a shepherd's hut at the top of the hill. This has to be for a fort."

Historians and archaeologists in the area have argued that a Roman settlement and fort was sited near Muncaster Castle.

Mr Bell now says he hopes funding can be secured for further excavations at the site later this year.

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